Only God Gives Real Rest

Only God Gives Real Rest

Only God can give real rest, written by Mari-Anna Stålnacke
Photo by Ilse on Unsplash

Work is a blessing because it gives us purpose, a rhythm for our days, and, of course, a means of living. But even if we love our work, we can burn out. Hence proper rest is a necessity. Even God rested, why wouldn’t we? Sometimes rest is out of our reach and that is hard. But sometimes fear keeps us from seeking rest and renewal. As you know, fear is not a good guide. Fear usually leads us astray. Only God gives real rest. And also empowers us to work when it is time to work.

How can we learn to live in a way that we won’t burn out but bloom in the midst of our everyday life? Jesus invites us to rest in him. And abiding in him is essential to our well-being. The more time we spend with Jesus, the better we feel. And vice versa. It is a mystery, really, but it works.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Here’s what really helps me to balance out my life. Yes, of course, I can try to plan my life in such a way that I have a work-life balance. But there’s someone else who helps me to know when it’s time to rest (and when it’s time to give my all to work). I’m talking about the Holy Spirit, of course.

Only God gives real rest

John Wesley has said, “Though I am always in a haste, I am never in a hurry, because I never undertake more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of spirit”.

For God, it’s not about us succeeding or working hard for him. You see, for God, it’s about us sharing our life with him, growing in his love and grace. And when we remember this, we realize God is not a harsh taskmaster but a loving Father who is calling us to abide in him.

This has changed how I view work. Even when I work for him, I know God does not want me to burn out. He wants me to work, but also rest, especially in him. So if I can’t do everything I had planned to do, I know God has a plan for the rest of my workload to be done in (heavenly) due time.

That’s why, just like John Wesley, I try to never undertake more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of spirit. Then I am not running before God but working with the Holy Spirit. And that is the key to perfect worklife balance

Gracious God,
Thank you for not being a slave driver but a loving Father who wants the best for us.
Help us to remember to surrender all our plans to you and wait for your guidance, timing, and empowering grace.
We don’t want to run before you, teach us how to go through our life with perfect calmness of your spirit.
In Jesus’ name,


Rest is included in God’s plans for us. We are not to try to be more than we were created to be. And we are not to look for rest in the wrong places. Only God gives real rest. If only we’d remember that, right? That’s why I start my day with surrender to God. It reminds me that my work, my life, and my faith are not on me but on Christ. So I can breathe and rest in God while I work.
Be abundantly blessed, my friend. God is with you in work and play. Enjoy his presence in your life!

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